Documenting Parent-Child Relationships

Today, I had another researcher ask about my ‘ChildParent’ events associated with Nancy Jane McCormick. That event is a fact type that I created.

I created this fact type because I was used to using a similar fact type in The Master Genealogist (TMG). In TMG, I used the dau-bio and son-bio tag types. The tag allowed me to connect a parent with a child — and attach source documentation to that relationship.

Since RootsMagic doesn’t have a similar fact type, I’ve been struggling with how to document parent-child relationships. I’d love to hear how other RootsMagic users are documenting parent/child relationships!

Don’t Just Copy – Give Credit

I’ve been doing genealogy for some time and have been willing to share my info — even publicly on the web. Unfortunately, when I find my work posted by someone else without giving me credit or even contacting me, I get perturbed.

Today, I ran across my work saved as a story for Mary Thurston.


I realize that this info isn’t all that unique and could come from many other researchers. However, the citations point to my work. A long time ago, I started using the Dollarhide numbering system. Thus, when I see “Wells.MI.023”, I recognize my work.

Knowing that this came from my site, I decided to try and prove it. I went to the Wayback Machine and searched for my domain, Using that URL, I was able to find a 2016 copy of my site. On that version of the site was my info for Mary Thurston.


Not only was this info copied from my page, it was shared by several other researchers.


This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered my work shared by others. Not only have people copied the stories from my old site but they have also copied and shared the photographs.

Unfortunately, the person who originally copied the information did not include a citation or any attribution to the original author. The lack of a citation prevents other users from connecting with me. Thus, I am prevented from working with them to add to the family story.

When you find an online genealogy, please give credit to the poster of the genealogy so that others can connect with the author.



Land on Sugar Creek / Mary Crawford

This indenture made this 23 day of March and year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred ninety one between Richard Cave and Elizabeth his wife of the county of Woodford and District of Kentucky of the one part and Mary Crawford of the County of Madison and District aforesaid of the other part witnesseth that the said Richard Cave and Elizabeth his wife for and in consideration of the sum of seventy pounds current money of Virginia to them in hand paid by the said Mary Crawford the receipt whereof he the said Richard Cave and Elizabeth his wife doth hereby acknowledge and themselves therewith fully sattisfied and content hath granted bargained sold aliened and confirmed and by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien and confirm unto the said Mary Crawford one certain tract or parcel of land containing by survey one hundred acres situate lying and being in the aforesaid county of Madison and on the waters of Sugar Creek and is bounded as follows (to wit) Beginning at a black walnut and buck tree standing in the line of Richard Caves survey four hundred acres on said Creek and corner to William McChears hundred acres extending from thence south one hundred and fifty six poles to a sugar tree and Hickory from thence north sixty four degrees west seventy two poles to a Buck thence north forty five degrees west one hundred and eighteen poles to four Linns growing from one root from thence North forty poles to a Buckeye and Sugar tree corner to William McCluer and from thence East one hundred and sixty poles binding on McCluers line to the beginning including the said Mary Crawfords clearing and improvements with its appurtenances to have and to hold the said land and premises with every of its appertinences unto the said Mary Crawford and her heirs forever and the said Richard Cave for himself his heirs executors and administrators the said land and premises unto the said Mary Crawford heir heirs executors and administrators shall and will warrant and for ever defend against the claim of him the said Richard Cave and Elizabeth his wife their heirs executors and administrators or from any other person or persons claiming by or under them and against the claim of all and every other person or persons whatsoever In witness whereof the said Richard Cave and Elizabeth his wife for themselves their heirs exeuctors and administrators hath hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals this day and year first above written

Signed sealed acknowledged
and delivered in the presents of
(The three letters in the second line the word Woodford interlined before send)
Michael Turner
Charles Bland
witnesses for Richd Cave
Thos McClure
William McClure
witnesses for Elizabeth Cave

images 205-206-207 of 429
film #007896910

  • Madison County Kentucky, Book of Deeds, Vol. A 1787-1790: images 205, 206, 207, Mary Crawford, grantee; FamilySearch microfilm # 007896910.
















Is that the right name? Writing first proof argument

Even though I’ve been adding sources to events in my family tree for years, I hadn’t written a ‘proof’ argument until the last month. For my first proof argument, I decided to write out my reasoning behind my great-grandfather’s name: Washington Marion Crawford.

When I started researching my family, my grandmother was my primary source of information. Even though she married into the Crawford family, she knew a lot about the family. Besides the photo albums, grandma took me on a tour of the cemetery. Since I grew up knowing about what I considered to be  ‘the’ family plot, I was surprised when she showed me other plots containing my great-great grandparents. The Crawford plot for my great-great grandparents was where I first encountered the ‘mystery of the name’. The tall family stone showed my great-great grandfather as Marion Crawford. Even though my grandmother had not met him, she knew of him as Marion Crawford. Near the tall headstone was a military stone – with a different name: Wash N Crawford.

Thus started the quest to figure out his name. Over time, I collected a wide variety of records using different variations of his name. For my proof argument, I decided to look at those records again and see how each record recorded his name.

Sources using Marion Crawford

  • Obituary – Ford County Republican
  • 1850 Census – Warren County, Indiana – household of Nelson Crawford
  • 1880 Census — Warren County, Indiana
  • Family Tombstone

Sources using M Crawford

  • 1885 Kansas Census – Ford County, Kansas

Sources using Washington Crawford

  • 1860 Census – Warren County, Indiana

Sources using W. Marion Crawford

  • Obituary – Dodge City Times
  • Lewis Post No. 294 GAR – Resolution

Sources using Washington M. Crawford

  • Coroner’s Report
  • U.S. Records of Headstones of Deceased Union Veterans 1879-1903 (FamilySearch)
  • Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans 1879-1903 (Ancestry)
  • Certified copy of marriage license – Warren County, Indiana
  • Military and Pension file for Washington M. Crawford

Sources using Wash N Crawford

  • Footstone

Based on the fact that all of the legal documents (marriage license, military record, coroner’s report, etc.) use the name Washington M. Crawford, I have concluded that his first name is Washington. Based on the fact that an obituary and the resolution for the GAR post identify him as W. Marion Crawford, I have concluded his middle name is Marion. Thus, I believe his legal name was

Washington Marion Crawford

even though family often referred to him as Marion Crawford.


ancestryblogFor the past few months, I have been slowly whittling away at the green leaves on my Ancestry family tree – Heartland_Genealogy. When I look at the pedigree view, it looks pretty good since almost all of the leaves are gone.

I have to admit that the initial pedigree view is somewhat deceiving since expanding the pedigree on almost any branch will produce green leaves.

hintsThis morning, I made the mistake of looking at the ‘View People with Hints’ page and discovered that I have lots of work yet to do.

Yes, that is over FIFTEEN THOUSAND records to look at and see if they fit someone in my tree.


That’s a lot of records to look at!



Some might assume that I’m just a collector of names when they look at the summary for my tree. After all, I have over 9000 names and only a little over 1500 records.  However, those stats are deceiving!

Some in the genealogy community have stated that they don’t worry about the green leaves and continue following my previous research pattern. However, I have found these hints to actually be helpful since they


  • force me to review my data
  • allow me to update citations to current standards
  • allow me to download and attach the images
  • attach documentation to my Ancestry tree

rootsmagicFor years, I was using my computer program — Master Genealogist — to record the events and sources for those 9000 people. About 2 years ago, I switched to Roots Magic, continuing the process of recording events in the lives of my ancestors and their descendants and then documenting the source of the information.  My sources are not up to the standards of Evidence Explained. Nor do I have images attached to anything entered before 2014.

Even though my Ancestry data is daunting, my RootsMagic data provides a better picture of my status. I do try and cite the source of my data!

Getting these two trees in sync in one of my Christmas wishes since RootsMagic is working on the ability to sync with Ancestry.

websiteMy other Christmas wish is that I will be able to update my web site with my RootsMagic data. My website was created with SecondSite from my Master Genealogy data. John Cardinal, creator of SecondSite is working on replacement software that hopefully will be able to accomplish this task. I anxiously am waiting for an announcement that the new software, GedSite, has been released.

The numbers on Ancestry may look overwhelming, but knowing they will lead to new information and help me improve my current documentation, I will keep working to reduce that number.



Crawford Puzzle – One Piece at a Time

jigsaw-305576_1280My Crawford lineage has always been like putting together a jigsaw puzzle — trying to figure out how hundreds of pieces fit together. Many years ago, I wrote about dissecting these pieces in order to identify my line. At the time, I identified four James Crawford families that were in the same region of Kentucky prior to 1800.

  • Rev. James Crawford (1752-1803) who married Rebecca McPheeters
  • James Crawford who married Rebecca Anderson
  • James Crawford (1772-1854) who married Sally Duggins in 1799 in Garrard County, KY
  • James Crawford (1770-1833) who married Martha Knight in 1793 in Lincoln County, KY

I descend from Nelson G. Crawford (1808-1864) of Warren County, Indiana. Nelson is the son of James and Sally (Duggins) Crawford. James and Sally lived in Preble County, Ohio from about 1810 until their deaths after 1850. Besides Nelson, the household included a daughter, Polly, and Sarah’s two sons from her marriage to Alexander Duggins: Henry Duggins and William Duggins.

Also living in Preble County Ohio from about 1810 until the late 1820’s is the family of James and Martha Crawford. James and Martha, their children and Nelson G. Crawford migrate from Preble County Ohio to Warren County, Indiana where they purchase land in 1829.

The question has always been: how are these two James related?

DNA results may help with this puzzle. My brother’s yDNA test has shown a close relationship to a descendant of William N. Crawford. Unfortunately, the ancestry of William N. Crawford is currently unknown. I can’t place William N. Crawford as a descendant in my tree, nor can I place him as a descendant of James and Martha Crawford. However, recent Ancestry matches indicate a likely relationship to both men. The descendant of William N. Crawford share the following in a recent email:

maybe William N. was living with relatives. (in reference to 1850 census showing a William N. Crawford in household of William & Lutitia Crawford) [Ancestry – Year: 1850; Census Place: Pike, Warren, Indiana; Roll: M432_178; Page: 3B; Image: 319]
Ancestry DNA has:
  • One fourth cousin match to a descendant of James Crawford m. Martha Knight.
  • Two matches to descendants of James Crawford m. Sally Duggins/Smith, Marcia and another distant cousin.
  • Ancestry has also proposed his inclusion in a NAD circle with other descendants of Nathan Douglas Sellers (1797-1874).  Three of whom are fourth cousins.

Not only was this DNA suggesting a relationship to both Crawford lines, it was suggesting a link to the SELLERS family. The James/Martha line has several ties to the SELLERS family but the James/Sally line has no known ‘direct line’ ties. (Henry Duggins, step-son of James Crawford, married Jane Sellers.) My AncestryDNA results also suggest a SELLERS link. Thus, we are beginning to think the SELLERS family might show how these puzzle pieces fit together.

While going thru my Crawford notes and looking for more documentation on Ancestry, I discovered that several researchers had a completely different name (Jane Jean) for the mother of James (md to Martha). Since I could not find this name on any of the documents I had collected for Crawfords in Kentucky prior to 1800, I decided to check Family Search to see what the ‘tree’ indicated. There I found another Crawford researcher who had made a correction on the tree changing the name back to Rebecca. I contacted this researcher to see if he could shed some light on where this other name came from. I have received several lengthy emails from him regarding our shared research.

He believes the ‘Jane Jean’ came from combining two James Crawfords. His Crawford research, along with the tree on Family Research, indicate that John Crawford was married to Rebecca (not Jane Jean) and was the father of James (md to Martha). According to Family Search, John Crawford was a brother to the James who married Rebecca Anderson. Thus, two of my original James Crawford families can be pieced together as uncle (James md to Anderson) and nephew (James md to Knight).

The puzzle is coming together, but I still can’t connect my piece (James and Sally) into a Crawford line.

One Person or Two — Elizabeth Harding

Since I hadn’t worked Ancestry’s ‘shaky leaves’ until recently, they have provided a ‘golden opportunity’ for a go-over. I have done a lot of research for my tree and have sources cited in my database — much of it based on paper/microfilm research. Since following Ancestry’s hints to access the online records is quicker than searching for the same record, I’ve been using them to locate the  digital record, save the image and update my computer database.

This is a slow process and I’m not sure I’ll ever get done but I do appreciate the challenge — both of getting rid of a leaf and of checking my research for errors. Over the weekend, I switched to my Harding line. My 3rd great-grandfather, William G. Harding, settled in Black Hawk County, Iowa prior to 1860. The 1860 census contains lots of clues about the family:

  • came from New Brunswick (birthplaces of Harding children)
  • blended family (both Ponsford and Harding children in home)
  • wife is likely a 2nd wife (Ponsford children)
  • family was in Wisconsin around 1857 (birthplace of Hattie)


(Iowa. Black Hawk County. 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital image. : 2016.)

This census led me to New Brunswick where I found the Harding family living in Westfield Township, Kings County, New Brunswick. Noticeably absent from the 1851 census is his wife, Elizabeth and the Ponsford children.


(Canada. New Brunswick. Kings County. 1851 Canadian Census, canadian census. Digital image. : 2016.)

Based on these two census records, I concluded that William G. Harding was likely married twice. I associated the Elizabeth Harding listed in the 1860 census as the mother of Hattie Harding and the Ponsford children. However, based on the fact that she is missing from the 1851 census, I did not associate her as the mother of the other Harding children.

Thus, began my hunt for the mother of my ancestor, Julia Harding. In my search for William’s wife, I came across an extensive history of the Harding family in New Brusnwick by Mrs. Raymond Caron and Brenda Beryl (Harding) Caron. (Caron, Mrs. Raymond, author. Life and Times of George and William Harding: Newburgh, New York 767-1783 and Saint John, New Brunswick; vol. 2. Canada: n.p., n.d..)

According to this book, the New Brunswick branch of the Harding family was Loyalists during the revolutionary war. After the war, they migrated to New Brunswick. Since this 2 volume work includes descendants of these Loyalist families, I searched it for William and found that William was a family name. However, there were only a handful of Julia Hardings in the index — most of them dying as infants. The possible match to my Julia Harding was the daughter of William Gillies Harding and Elizabeth Fowler. Unfortunately, the book only identifies 2 children when there were 7 children in the 1851 census.

I was able to locate the marriage record on Family Search. William G. Harding and Elizabeth Fowler were married in Kings County, New Brunswick in 1830. Thus, Elizabeth Fowler could be the mother of the children in the 1851 census.


(New Brunswick Marriage Registers, 1789-1889. Provincial Archives, Fredericton. database with images. Family Search.

If that is the case, then she either died or left the family sometime between 1846 (birth of William Henry Harding) and the 1851 census. Since the census records (including those past 1860) consistently list either New Brunswick or Canada (Eng) as the birthplace of the children, it is likely that the family did not leave New Brunswick until sometime after the 1851 census.

Thus, I am working with the theory that William had TWO wives: Elizabeth Fowler and a second Elizabeth that he married sometime after 1851. Yesterday, I located the marriage record for his daughter, Hattie, who was born in Wisconsin. According to this record, her mother was Eliza HENDERSON.


(“Iowa, Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996.” : Sept. 2016.)

If only I could find a similar marriage record for one of the older Harding children identifying their mother!

Until someone provides documentation to disprove it, my current theory is that William G. Harding was married twice, with his first marriage occurring in New Brunswick and his second marriage occurring after 1851. So my quest continues:

  • Locate marriage record for William G. Harding and Eliza Henderson Ponsford
  • Locate records supporting or disproving Elizabeth Fowler as the mother of the Harding children
  • Locate marriage record for Eliza Henderson and ? Ponsford
  • Locate death information for Elizabeth Fowler Harding
  • Work to keep these two ladies from being merged